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Zero Hour Contracts and more
#11
Does the employer keep paying the NI contributions if you're on a ZHC? Presumably these are worked out based on some kind of nominal number of hours per week. Otherwise, isn't this going to leave a big hole in your NI record? The thing about going on the dole is that you can get housing benefit and they pay your NI...
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#12
Class 1 NI contributions are based on income so if you earn less than a certain amount neither you nor the employer pays anything.

Yes you could have a hole in your NI record. There is no problem about going on the dole if you are on a Zero Hours contract. It may take time to convince a benefits officer you are available for work, but in principle you should be able to note which days you work and which days you don't when you make your fortnightly claim. And of course when you are on the dole you are credited for NI for that period.

Whether it is economically viable to be on the dole and on a ZHC is another matter, particularly with regard to housing benefit and maybe tax credits....if you income from ZHC takes you above the level of dole and cost of your rent etc, good. If it doesn't very very bad!!
With peace and consolation hath dismist, And calm of mind all passion spent...
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#13
Does any one know what the situation is with signing on and being on a zero hours contract? I cannot imaging the benefits officers round here being very sympathetic. It's hard enough persuading them that you are still available for work when you are volunteering. I have come across cases where they are telling porky pies to claimants to keep them from claiming ( possibly an unwritten arrangement to keep people off the unemployment figures?).
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#14
kevin wooldridge Wrote:Class 1 NI contributions are based on income so if you earn less than a certain amount neither you nor the employer pays anything.
?136/week. Which approximately equals minimum wage for 3 days. Employer NI is 13.8%, which is quite a saving if you choose to employ two part-time workers rather than one full-time one. So that's nice...

Quote:Whether it is economically viable to be on the dole and on a ZHC is another matter, particularly with regard to housing benefit and maybe tax credits....if you income from ZHC takes you above the level of dole and cost of your rent etc, good. If it doesn't very very bad!!
Housing benefit is means tested, so a ZHC worker would still get that if they earned a low enough wage (so, probably yes unless the work is practically constant and they don't have kids). Apparently, the thing to do is go in and talk to the Council, and give them an estimate of expected earnings. They probably will then require the worker to submit a form every month or every three months or somesuch, explaining what was earned in the preceeding period. That way, the council will carry on paying Housing Benefit and work out the precise figures retrospectively. So, controlling the information supply is the key point. If the council Housing Benefit office find out from Jobcentre Plus that there's been a change in circumstances (i.e. any work at all on a ZHC), they'll suspend the claim, and it'll take until after the next rent day to get it restarted.

That's based on the experience of self-employed chippies I know anyway. As with all benefit issues, YMMV based on the local council, the circumstances of the job, how well the work is understood, how unpalatable the sandwiches in the benefit office workers' canteen were that day, etc.
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#15
Wax Wrote:Does any one know what the situation is with signing on and being on a zero hours contract? I cannot imaging the benefits officers round here being very sympathetic. It's hard enough persuading them that you are still available for work when you are volunteering. I have come across cases where they are telling porky pies to claimants to keep them from claiming ( possibly an unwritten arrangement to keep people off the unemployment figures?).

You can claim JSA as long as you don't work more than 16 hours a week and say that you are looking for work too. You are asked to provide proof of hours/earnings. For anyone claiming housing/council tax benefits this can be a pain as the hours aren't consistent - they will want proof of all income etc. and will work them out on an average earnings.
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#16
BAJR Wrote:BAJR

I stress there is nothing illegal in what is happening, but this places archaeologists in the same boat as migrant farm workers, seasonal shop assistants and contract cleaning staff ... hmmm :face-huh:

for a lot of temp staff this has always been the way they are viewed. nothing more than itinerants. bajr is right. no matter how bad things are we must not give in to the despicable depths to which developers and employers will stoop. as a freelancer i have been in the position of working for a fee which, in a way, is similar. it's no way to live...
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#17
Now then...... I am signed up on ZHC with two companies ....have been for eighteen months....how does this affect the 12 week rule i.e. full employment rights; sick pay/holidays etc..........
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#18
monty Wrote:Now then...... I am signed up on ZHC with two companies ....have been for eighteen months....how does this affect the 12 week rule i.e. full employment rights; sick pay/holidays etc..........

If you have had a ZHC for 18 months you are entitled to holiday pay, sick pay and equal rights to benefits given to all other employees. If you can hang in there for 6 more months you will also be entitled to redundancy pay. If you are not in a trade union, check with the Citizens Advice Bureau as to your rights
With peace and consolation hath dismist, And calm of mind all passion spent...
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#19
How does holiday pay work? If you don't get paid when there's no work, do you get paid 28 days of the year regardless?
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#20
You need to establish the amount of holiday in your Zero Hours contract. This can be as pro rata to your working hours and needs to apply to the right to pay or time off for public or stautory holiday. Its exactly the same as a 'normal' contract.....again if you are uncertain you need to obtain advice from your trade union or from the Citizen Advice Bureau. The important fact is that even on a Zero Hour contract, you are entitled to holiday pay and sick pay and other employee benefits.
With peace and consolation hath dismist, And calm of mind all passion spent...
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